A few months ago, my husband found a ridiculously low-priced (not stolen! we checked!) white Surly 1×1 frame/fork on craigslist for me (well, he found a crankset for his 1×1 that happened to be attached to a bike frame/fork, but I saw potential! and I stole the crankset. So there.) But since then, I’ve gotten in a bit of a huff at my bikes (nothing like epic failure and a miles-long walk home to make one resent the two-wheeled steed), and I haven’t really ridden a bike around much since. Which is sad.
I noticed the other day that my bikes have slowly migrated to the back of the bike room (you see, John’s bikes have been getting regular use, so they’re on top of the pile), and it made me kind of sad to see my bikes AND a bike frame languishing unused. So I’ve decided that I need to build up the 1×1. I may still be mad at the long haul trucker (remember the epic failure mentioned above? yeah, me too…), but that’s no reason that the other bikes I have should go unloved/unused! (And for those of you unfamiliar with our bike “stable”, we have 6-8 bicycles depending on what counts as a “bike”).
One of the hard/fun things about building up a bike (for me, anyhow) is deciding how I think the bike will be used when all’s said and done. I think it’s important to at least have a game plan, since the components you need for the bike will vary a bit depending on the use (i.e. if you plan to bomb downhill on singletrack , you definitely want giant disc brakes; if you’re just going to toodle around the block to the grocery store or ride to the odd yoga class,you want a good solid rack for easy cargo carrying; and if you want to have the prettiest bike in the Twin Cities, you’re going to drop some major dough on BB (bike bling)…OK, that might be over-simplified, but hey, its my blog).
This bike, I think, shall be used for transportation. I envision myself riding to/from places like the library, friends’ houses, the gym, maybe even the grocery store, etc. It’ll be an all ’round getting around bike. As such, it has a few simple needs:
- not look too fancy (theft prevention)
- good, basic components (see not too fancy, above)
- ample cargo capabilities (i.e. a bag of groceries or a purse or a yoga mat should all be able to be be strapped down as a matter of course)
- smooth-ish tires (a little tread for traction, but nothing too aggressive)
- a space to carry my u-lock at all times (see not too fancy, above)
I do need a good bit of componentry to actually build up the bike:
- headset spacers & a star spangled nut
- disc brakes
- brake levers & cables
- seat post
- saddle (though I could just port my blue brooks around)
- rack & maybe a collapsible basket (but they’re heavy, so maybe not)
Now that I finally have a plan, I just have to track down the parts and put them together. That may take a bit (hey! disc brakes aren’t cheap, and my fabric-buying habit seveeeeeeerely affects my bike-bits-buying resources!), but expect to see a post here and there as things come along.
And you know eventually I’ll get around to tackling another bike-sewing project (hopefully with less wailing and gnashing of teeth than the last one!)